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K. Janakiraman Vs. Hajee Abdul Sattar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1985)2MLJ151
AppellantK. Janakiraman
RespondentHajee Abdul Sattar and anr.
Cases Referred and Arumugham v. D. Srinivasan
Excerpt:
.....court has held that the existing condition of the building is a vital factor while considering the bona fide requirement of the landlord and that the age and the question whether the construction is a recent reconstruction or an old one and whether it is in good and sound condition or it has become decrepit or dilapidated are all relevant factors forming part of all the circumstances that have to be considered while determining the bona fide requirement of the landlord, the learned counsel for the tenant has contended in this case that the landlord has not come to court with a plea that the building is old and needs demolition and, therefore, the landlord's petition should have been rejected. benefit of section 14(1)(b) of the tamil nadu buildings (lease and rent control) act, 1960. 3...........findings of both the rent control authorities that the premises in occupation of the tenant are bona fide required by the landlord for the immediate purpose of demolishing it and that the landlords want to erect a new building on the site of the old building. the petitioner is one of the three tenants who are in occupation of a portion of the premises which have been purchased by the landlords in 1979. the premises are undoubtedly used for non-residential purposes but the landlords who are father and son want to construct residential premises at the site of the present building. they have already got a plan sanctioned from the corporation on 1st april, 1981. it is not in dispute that they are will-to-do people and are possessed of necessary amount of rs. 1,50,000 required for.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.N. Chandurkar, C.J.

1. This is a tenant's revision petition challenging the concurrent findings of both the Rent Control authorities that the premises in occupation of the tenant are bona fide required by the landlord for the immediate purpose of demolishing it and that the landlords want to erect a new building on the site of the old building. The petitioner is one of the three tenants who are in occupation of a portion of the premises which have been purchased by the landlords in 1979. The premises are undoubtedly used for non-residential purposes but the landlords who are father and son want to construct residential premises at the site of the present building. They have already got a plan sanctioned from the Corporation on 1st April, 1981. It is not in dispute that they are will-to-do people and are possessed of necessary amount of Rs. 1,50,000 required for demolition and reconstruction. The; stand taken by the tenant petitioner was that the building is quite strong and it does not need to be demolished. The rent control proceedings, according to the tenant, were the result of the tenant not agreeing to pay a higher rent. The Rent Controller on a consideration of the evidence found that the building itself is more than 70 years old and that the landlords whose annual turnover of their business is more than Rs. 50 lakhs bona fide wanted the premises to be demolished and a new building put up for residential purposes, and even the planning permit valid upto 31st March, 1984 had been obtained by the landlords. Having found that the requirement of the landlord was bona fide, an order of eviction was made against the tenant.

2. In an extensive and exhaustive order considering the contentions raised by the tenant in the appeal filed by him, the appellate authority confirmed these findings. These findings are now challenged by the tenant. Relying on the decision of the Supreme Court in Metalware and Co. v. Bansilal : [1979]3SCR1107 in which the Supreme Court has held that the existing condition of the building is a vital factor while considering the bona fide requirement of the landlord and that the age and the question whether the construction is a recent reconstruction or an old one and whether it is in good and sound condition or it has become decrepit or dilapidated are all relevant factors forming part of all the circumstances that have to be considered while determining the bona fide requirement of the landlord, the learned Counsel for the tenant has contended in this case that the landlord has not come to court with a plea that the building is old and needs demolition and, therefore, the landlord's petition should have been rejected. But, the facts of the case before the Supreme Court would show that the landlord in that case had positively come to Court with a case that the building is very old and dilapidated and required immediate demolition and reconstruction. Admittedly in the instant case dilapidated condition of the building is not a ground on which the landlords have asked for eviction of the tenant. They have come to court with a very clear case that in the place of non-residential building they want to construct residential premises for themselves and that they have purchased the property explicitly with such an intention. It is not the case of the tenant that this claim of the landlords that they want to construct a building for their residential use is merely a device to evict the tenant. As has been found by both the authorities, the landlords are possessed of sufficient means, they have already taken steps for the demolition and the construction of a new building inasmuch as they have got a plan sanctioned and have also got a planning permit. On these facts, it is difficult to see how the landlords will not be entitled to the. benefit of Section 14(1)(b) of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960.

3. Section 14(1)(b) provides that notwithstanding anything contained in the Act, but subject to the provisions of Sections 12 and 13, on an application made by a landlord, the Controller shall, if he is satisfied that the building is bona fide required by the landlord for the immediate purpose of demolishing it and such demolition is to be made for the purpose of erecting a new building on the site of the building sought to be demolished, pass an order directing the tenant to deliver possession of the building to the landlord before a specified date. Undoubtedly a building being dilapidated and decrepit could be one of the grounds on which the landlord could seek eviction of the tenant under Section 14(1)(b) of the Act. But such a case is not exhaustive of the applicability of Section 14(1)(b). There could be a case where a landlord may purchase a small structure with open land which is occupied by a tenant with the express intention of putting up his own residential building and the mere fact that the building already existing is neither dilapidated nor unsound would be (sic) no ground for rejecting the claim of the landlord if he otherwise satisfied the Rent Control Authority about the bona fide requirement.

4. The decision of the Supreme Court referred to earlier was considered by this Court in Bharathi Trading Co. v. K. Shan mughasundaram : (1982)1MLJ94 . The learned Judge has in that case taken the view, that the terms of Section 14(1)(b) are wide enough to cover cases where the landlord bona fide required the building for the expansion of his own business or for legitimate purposes. This view has my respectful concurrence. It appears that this Court has consistenly taken the view that the decrepit or dilapidated condition of the building is not the only ground on which a petition under Section 14(1)(b) of the Rent Control Act can be made. See Mahboob Badhasha v. Manga Devi (1965) 2 M.L.J.209 : (1965) 78 L.W.286 and Arumugham v. D. Srinivasan (1982) 95 L.W.328. Having regard to this consistent view on the construction of Section 14(1)(b), it is difficult to find any Infirmity in the view taken by both the Rent Control Authorities. This revision petition is therefore dismissed. There will, however, be no order as to costs.

5. The learned Counsel for the tenant has requested for some time for the tenant to vacate the premises. Since the. tenant has been carrying on business in this premises for a long period of time, in the interests of justice. I consider it will be proper to give the tenant four months time to vacate the premises provided he files an undertaking to this Court that he will vacate the premises on or before 1st of July, 1985 and in the meantime continue to pay to the landlords an amount equal to rent and he will not be entitled to a new tenancy in his favour. The undertaking is to be filed within a week from today. If the undertaking is not so filled, the landlords would be entitled to execute the decree for eviction.


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